Today’s Mental Health Awareness Week article is authored by CareTech Foundation Trustee, Karen Dukes.
Mental Health problems are invisible and so time and again people who are suffering go unnoticed or misunderstood by those who would be best placed to help. 5 years ago, I found myself working long hours in a highly stressed job away from home. My mental health began to suffer. Not only did it impact on my ability to perform at work, it also affected my ability to chill out with family and friends. My boss was instrumental in helping me make changes which improved my mental health and enabled me to recover fully. Mental Health Awareness Week is really important to raise awareness and at the CareTech Foundation we’re funding a number of partnerships targeted at tackling mental health issues.
The impact of mental health issues on the care sector in particular is an issue that we have been working to address. Care workers look after society’s most vulnerable individuals and spend their careers assisting others, but sometimes their own mental health can be overlooked. Early starts, long hours and mentally draining work are part and parcel of the job. Carers often form close professional relationships with people who maybe going through great hardship or reaching the end of their lives, and this can increase the strain on care workers. It’s hugely important that we raise awareness of mental health issues within the sector and that carers know how to seek help when problems do arise.
That’s why one of our key partners is The Care Workers Charity which is dedicated to supporting the 1.5 million care workers in the UK through hardship grants for care workers who find themselves in financial need; it’s hard enough to manage the stresses and strains but sometimes not being able to make ends meets can be a tipping balance for care workers. They need to know help is available. The CareTech Foundation is working alongside CareTech Holdings plc to provide volunteers for CWC’s Champions programme, which raises awareness of the charity. We want to ensure that care workers who are experiencing mental health issues, or who find themselves in any other need, know that help is available.
Too many care workers are contending with complex mental and physical health conditions, without getting the support they need. Our partnership with the Care Workers Charity is working to change that. In 2018 the charity awarded 383 hardship grants in the year. In value terms, grants distributed amounted to £156,629. Grant applications rose by 386% with 511 applicants referred to the relevant services and support, showing that awareness is increasing, but also how desperately needed these hardship grants are. If you know a care worker in need reach out and see if you can help? #MHAW2019 #becauseyoucare
To learn more about Karen, please visit her Trustee profile page – https://www.caretechfoundation.org.uk/trustees/karen-dukes/